Malankara World Journal - Christian Spirituality from an Orthodox Perspective
Malankara World Journal
Theme: Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Savior
Volume 6 No. 382 November 4, 2016
III. Featured Articles: Eternal God

Christ's Deity Defended

by John MacArthur

"[Christ] existed in the form of God" (Philippians 2:6).

Scripture makes clear that Christ is God.

The deity of Christ is the heart of the Christian faith. Inevitably when people attack the Christian faith, they attack the deity of Christ. Scripture makes clear, however, that such attacks are unfounded. The apostle John said, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God" (John 1:1). Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, he began his Gospel by affirming the deity of Christ. John further declared Christ's deity when he wrote, "All things came into being through [Christ], and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life; and the life was the light of men" (vv. 3-4). In John 8:58 Jesus said, "Before Abraham was born, I AM." Jesus appropriated to Himself the name of God, who said, "I AM WHO I AM" (Ex. 3:14).

In Colossians 1:15-17 the apostle Paul wrote of Christ's deity: "He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities-all things have been created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together." Christ is God, the Creator. The writer of Hebrews says, "[Christ] is the radiance of [God's] glory and the exact representation of His nature" (1:3). Christianity begins with the recognition that Jesus Christ is in essence the eternal God.

Whenever someone confronts you by attacking the deity of Christ, be sure to defend the faith, "holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching" (Titus 1:9).

Suggestions for Prayer

At the core of defending God's Word is an accurate interpretation of Scripture. Ask Him to help you interpret His Word accurately (see 2 Tim. 2:15).

For Further Study

John 1:1 says, "In the beginning was the Word," which undoubtedly reminded John's readers of Genesis 1:1: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." What do the following verses demonstrate about Christ: 1 Corinthians 8:6; Ephesians 3:19; Hebrews 1:1-2?

(from the book "Strength for Today") source: Grace to

I Am That I Am

by Henry Law

"I am that I am" Exodus 3:14

The believer is called to wayfaring and warfaring struggles. He has to bear a daily cross and to fight a daily fight. But in every hour of need a sure support is near. Behold Moses. The ground that he must tread is very slippery. The hill of his difficulties is very steep. A foe opposes every step. But a staff and a sword are provided for him in the name of his guiding and protecting Lord. "I AM THAT I AM." On this He can lean the whole burden of his cares, and fears, and pains. By this he can scatter kings as dust. This stay is still the same, ever mighty, ever near. The feeblest pilgrim may grasp it by the hand of faith. And whosoever grasps it is "as Mount Zion, which cannot be removed, but abides forever." "I AM THAT I AM."

Such is the voice from the burning bush. The Speaker, then, is hid in no mask of mystery. It is the Angel of the everlasting Covenant. It is the great Redeemer. He would establish His people on the firm rock of comfort. Therefore with trumpet-tongue He thus assures them that all the majesty, all the supremacy, all the glory of absolute and essential Deity, are His inherent right. O my soul, into what a speck must poor man dwindle before such greatness! The limits of the mind cannot scan it. The arms of the heart cannot embrace it. Words are mere skeletons before it. Intellect would sincerely on eagle's wing fly around the ever-widening circle. But vain is the effort. Its height is on heaven's summit. What mortal arm can reach it? It is as space which has no bounds. What human line can measure it? Our mortal eyes pierce not unlimited expanse. Our scales weigh not the mountains. Our vessels measure not the ocean's depths. So our faculties are too short to probe the immensities of God. To grasp divine essence requires divine largeness. "I AM THAT I AM" alone can read the volume of that title. Shall we then repine? What! Repine because our God is so great? Where is the subject who frets because he cannot count his prince's treasures? Let us rather bow our heads in pious adoration.

Let us rather give thanks that a mine is open in which the very dust is gold. Let us rather humble ourselves, that we are so slow and careless to gather up the manna of rich truth which falls at the tent-door. Let us rather pray the Spirit to illumine more clearly the written page. Let us rather long for the day when every cloud which veils our God shall brighten into perfect light; and when His people "shall be like Him, for they shall see Him as He is." Come then, and with such loving teachableness let us take our seat beside this sea of truth, and strive with reverence to touch the spray that sparkles on the shore. "I AM THAT I AM." Here the first sound is eternity. Jesus, as God, He puts on eternity as his robe. He knows no past. He knows no future. He lives unmoved in one unmoving present. He stretches through all the ages which are gone and which are yet to come. His only bounds are immeasurable boundlessness. Before time was born, He is "I AM THAT I AM." When time shall have expired, He still is "I AM THAT I AM." If there had been the moment when His being dawned, His name would be, "I am what I was not." If there could be a moment when His being must have end, His name would be, "I am what I shall not be." But He is, "I AM THAT I AM." Thus He treads first and last beneath his feet. He sits on the unbroken circumference of existence, as He who ever was, and ever is, and ever shall be. Let thought fly back, until in weariness it faints: let it look onward until all vision fail; it ever finds Him the same "I AM."

Reader, look down now from this astounding glory and fix your eye on Bethlehem's manger. A lowly Babe lies in the lowly cradle of a lowly town, the offspring of a lowly mother. Look again. That child is the eternal "I AM." He whose Deity never had birth, is born "the woman's Seed." He, whom no infinitudes can hold, is contained within infant's age, and infant's form. He, who never began to be, as God, here begins to be, as man. And can it be, that the great "I AM THAT I AM" shrinks into our flesh, and is little upon our earth, as one newborn of yesterday? It is so. The Lord promised it. Prophets foretold it. Types prefigured it. An angel announces it. Heaven rings with rapture at it. Faith sees it. The redeemed rejoice in it. But why is this wonder of wonders? Why is eternity's Lord a child of time? He thus stoops, that He may save poor wretched sinners such as we are. Could He not by His will or by His word? Ah! No. He willed, and all things were. He speaks, and all obey. But He must die, as man, that a lost soul may live. To rescue from one stain of sin, the Eternal must take the sinner's place, and bear sin's curse and pay sin's debt, and suffer sin's penalty, and wash out sin's filth, and atone for sin's malignity. "I AM THAT I AM" alone could do this. "I AM THAT I AM" alone has done it. What self-denial, what self-abasement, what self-emptying is here! Surely, royalty in rags, angels in cells, is no descent compared to Deity in flesh! But mighty love moves Jesus to despise all shame, and to lie low in misery's lowest mire. Through ages past His "delights were with the sons of men." Prov. 8.31.

Eternity to come is but a void, unless his people share His glory. Therefore He humbles Himself to earth, that specks of earth may rise to heaven's immortality. Believer, you joy in prospect of thus living with Him forever. But wherefore is there full rapture in the thought? Do not you feel that the crowning ecstasy is in this? Eternity will afford you time to gaze with steady look on a Savior's glories, to sing with unwearied hymn a Savior's praise, to bless with perpetual blessing a Savior's name, and to learn with ever-expanding knowledge a Savior's worth. There is another note in this loud chorus of truth, which is especial sweetness to the believer's ear. It tells melodiously that Jesus cannot change. He is as constant as He is great. As surely as He ever lives, so surely He ever lives the same. He is one expanse of never-varying oneness. He sits on the calm throne of eternal serenity. Change is the defect of things below: for things below are all defective. Immutability reigns above: for immutability is perfection's essence. Our brightest morn often ends in storm. Summer's radiance gives place to winter's gloom. The smiling flower soon lies withered. The babbling brook is soon a parched-up channel. The friend who smiled, smiles no more friendly welcomes.

Bereavement weeps where once the family beamed with domestic joy. Gardens wither into deserts. Babylons crumble into unsightly ruins. On all things a sad inscription writes "fleeting - transient - vanishing." Time flaps a ceaseless wing, and from the wings decay and death drop down. "I AM THAT I AM" sits high above all this. He is "the same yesterday, and today, and forever." The unchangeableness of Jesus is the unchangeableness of His attributes. Each shines brightly in this bright mirror. But a rapid glance at His love and power must suffice. His love is in perpetual bloom. It is always in summer-tide. The roots are deeply buried in Himself; therefore the branches cannot fade. Believer, drink hourly of this cup of joy. Allow not Satan to infuse a poisonous doubt. Christ loved you largely when, in the councils of eternity, He received you into His heart. He loved you truly when, in the fullness of time, He took upon Himself your curse, and drained your hell-deep dues. He loved you tenderly when He showed you, by the Spirit, His hands and His feet, and whispered to you that you were His. He loves you faithfully while He ceases not to intercede in your behalf, and to scatter blessings on your person and your soul. He will love you intensely in heaven when you are manifested as His purchase and crowned as His bride. To each inquiry - has He loved? Does He love? And will He love? The one reply is, "I AM THAT I AM." Do not raise the objection, if He thus loves, why am I thus? Why is my path so rugged, and my heart like flint? You will soon know that your bitterest trials and your sorest pains are sure tokens of His love. The father corrects because he loves.

In anxious care the physician deeply probes the wounds. Thus Jesus makes earth hard, that you may long for heaven's holy rest. He shows you your self-vileness that you may prize His cleansing blood. He allows you to stumble that you may cleave more closely to His side. He makes the world a blank that you may seek all comfort in Himself. If He seems to change, it is that you may change. He hides His face that you may look towards Him. He is silent, that you may cry more loudly. His desertion prevents your desertion. He saves from real hell, by casting into seeming hell. But love fails not. All His dealings are love's everflowing, overflowing tide. On each the eye of faith can read, "I AM THAT I AM." Power goes hand in hand with love. They co-exist and co-endure. It was a mighty voice which said, "Be" - and all things were. It was a mighty hand which framed this so wondrous universe. It is a mighty arm which turns the wheel of providence. This power still is, and ever will be, what it always has been. No age enfeebles, and no use exhausts it. This is the Church's rock.

The Bible, blazing with its exploits, encourages the "worm Jacob" to "be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might." He can still bid the seas of difficulty to recede. He can cause hurricanes and tempests to cease. He can make straight the crooked paths of evil. He can level the mountains of high-towering corruption. He can stop the lion-mouth of persecution. He can quench the scorching flames of every lust. In the face of all Goliaths, He cheers His followers to victory, under the banner of "I AM THAT I AM." But perhaps it is your wretched case to live unsprinkled by His saving blood. Will you die thus? What, thus appear before His great white throne? His truth condemns you-and it cannot change. His wrath burns hot against you and it cannot relent. His power has commission to destroy you - and it cannot be withstood. "I AM THAT I AM" becomes an idle fable, if truth and wrath and power war not eternally with sin. And can they war and not prevail? Believer, the eternity and unchangeableness of "I AM THAT I AM" make heaven to be heaven forever.

Sinner, the eternity and unchangeableness of "I AM THAT I AM" make hell to be hell forever. Reader, these thoughts scarce touch the boundary line of the shadow of this glorious name. But surely they show the blessedness of those who, guided by the Spirit, repose beneath the wings of Jesus. "The eternal God is your refuge and underneath are the everlasting arms" Deut. 33:7. "I AM THAT I AM" must perish or must change, before their names can be cast from His heart. Some greater power must arise before they can he plucked from His tight-grasping hand. The bare idea is folly. Happy flock "I AM THAT I AM" loves them, and they are loved: calls them, and they follow Him: sanctifies them, and they are sanctified: blesses them, and they are blessed: gives them life, and they live: gives them glory, and they are glorified.


Glimpses of God as Revealed Through Jesus

by Pr Linton Smith

Athanasius Kircher was a 17th Century German Jesuit.. and a noted scientist. Among other things, he made an early study of Egyptian Hieroglyps and invented the magic lantern - a precursor to the slide machine and the cinema. On one occasion a young man who prided himself on being an atheist came into his study. He was intrigued by a very fine working model of the solar system. Turn the handle.. and the planets would revolve around the sun.

Very ingenious, the young man said, Who made it?

Oh, no one made it, Kircher replied.

Tell me, I want to know who made it.

Nobody. It just happened.

The young man began to see what Kircher was getting at and said, I see you are trying to be funny.

Kircher responded, Isn't it you who is funny. You cannot believe that this little model just happened, but you can believe that the planets.. and sun.. and stars.. just happened.. came into existence without a maker.

Most if not all of us here today would agree with Kircher. We would say that the Universe is stunning evidence of the existence of God.

We would agree with Paul.. Romans 1:20.. Since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities - his eternal power and divine nature - have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made.

In creation we can discern His power, intelligence, creativity.. and many other attributes.. but I want to know more than that.

I want to know what God is like.. what He is like at heart. How can I know that?

We find the answer in what God did on the first Christmas..

In John 1:1,14 we read.. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God… The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us..

And in John 14:9 Jesus says.. Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.

Jesus the Son of God became one of us.. and showed us what God the Father is like. He revealed God's heart!

This week this little poem appeared in 'Our Daily Bread' [29/11/05 Radio Bible Class]

So much about His character God wanted to impart;

Creation shows His handiwork - His Son reveals His heart. [Hess]

And the song we contemplated earlier in the service describes Jesus like this..

True image of the Infinite, Whose essence is concealed;

Brightness of uncreated light; The heart of God revealed..

In Jesus we see God revealed.

As we watch and listen to Jesus we glimpse God the Father.. we glimpse His heart!

We glimpse..


Psalm 103 is a favorite Psalm with many. It describes God.

Psalm 103:8 reads.. The LORD is compassionate and gracious..

Jesus.. the Word become flesh.. puts flesh on these words..

Mark 1:40-42.. A man with leprosy came to him and begged him on his knees, "If you are willing, you can make me clean." Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. "I am willing," he said. "Be clean!" Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cured.

The life of people suffering from leprosy was miserable.

They had to live outside the towns.. wherever they could find shelter. and had to shout Unclean, Unclean if ever people came near to them..

A man with this disease came to Jesus.. begged Him.. if you are willing.. you can make me clean. Jesus was filled with compassion.. moved in His inner parts.. moved by love.. by pity.. and reached out and touched him.. and cured him!

We could cite many incidents like that.. but one that really stands out is found in Luke 7:11-17.

Jesus saw a funeral procession coming out of a village.. and knew that the dead person was the only son of a widow. How did He respond? His heart went out to her!

Watching Jesus.. we are watching God..

we are glimpsing the heart of God the Father.. a heart full of compassion.

Next we glimpse..


Psalm 103:8 goes on.. The LORD is.. slow to anger..

God does get angry.

In the Bible.. the expression, The LORD'S anger is found 21 times.. God's anger twice.. The LORD'S wrath 10 times.. God's wrath 8 times.. And there are many other references to His anger.

God does get angry.. but He is slow to anger.

Slow to anger. Jesus.. the Word become flesh.. puts flesh on these words.

In John 2:13-16 we read.. When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem . In the temple courts he found men selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple area, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. To those who sold doves he said, "Get these out of here! How dare you turn my Father's house into a market!"

Get these out of here!

Do you hear the anger in these words? But notice He did not rush in wildly. What did He do? He made a whip out of cords. That takes time. Then He drove out the money changers, their sheep, cattle, scattered their money, overturned their tables..

Here was anger under control..

And as we watch Him.. we are seeing the heart of God.. yes.. we can make Him angry.. but He is slow to anger..

As Peter says.. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

He may be slow to anger.. but one day.. His anger against sin and sinners will be revealed. Make your peace with Him while you may.

Next we glimpse..


Someone has said that grace is getting what we do not deserve and mercy is not getting what we do deserve.

In Psalm 103:10 we read.. He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.

That is mercy and Jesus put flesh on these words.

We read in John 8:3-5.. The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, "Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?"

They were trying to trap Jesus.. and mercilessly using this woman! They were all for stoning her to death.

Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. They kept on questioning him. He straightened up and said to them, "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her." Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. They began to go away one at a time, the older ones first. Only Jesus was left and the woman. Then we read..

John 8:10,11.. Jesus straightened up and asked her, "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?" "No one, sir," she said. "Then neither do I condemn you," Jesus declared. "Go now and leave your life of sin."

As we watch Jesus we are seeing the heart of God the Father - full of mercy!

We see it here and on many other occasions.. and especially when Jesus was crucified.

On the cross.. He says again and again.. Father, forgive them.. they do not know what they do..

There we glimpse the heart of God.. full of mercy.. willing to forgive..

We glimpse His compassion.. anger.. mercy.. and next..


I struggled to find a word to say what I wanted to say here.. and then empathy came to mind.. Enc Brit says that empathy is the ability to imagine oneself in another's place and understand the other's feelings, desires, ideas, and actions.

We read of God doing just that in..

Psalm 103:13,14.. As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.

He knows how we are formed.. remembers we are dust.. He understands our struggle with death and sorrow and pain..

Jesus.. the Word become flesh.. put flesh on these words.

He came to Bethany .. to his good friends Mary and Martha.. their brother Lazarus had died four days before. He spoke first to Martha then Mary. We read..

John 11:33.. When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled..

The people there saw His emotional response.. and said to each other.. see how He loved him.

But there was more to it than that. Jesus entered into the pain and loss we all feel in the face of death. He felt intensely for all of us.

And as we see Him.. we glimpse the heart of God the Father. He agonizes with us in our grief.. pain.. helplessness.. hopelessness in the face of death!

But Jesus goes beyond empathy. He went to the tomb..

In John 11:43,44 we read.. Jesus called in a loud voice, "Lazarus, come out!" The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, "Take off the grave clothes and let him go."

He gives us hope. Death is not the end. There is life.. after life!

We have glimpsed the heart of God.. His compassion.. anger.. mercy.. empathy.. but there is more, much more.

Read about Jesus for yourself.. watch Him.. glimpse the heart of God the Father..

And today.. right now.. draw near to Him.. pray.. Lord, Have mercy on me. Lord, Make me like You. 

God Is Eternal

But You, O Lord . . .

by Stephen Davey

My days are like a lengthened shadow, and I wither away like grass. But You, O Lord, abide forever, and Your name to all generations. - Psalm 102:11-12

What you think these men had in common at the height of their careers during the 1930s, '40s, and '50s?

· Owen D. Young
· James F. Byrnes
· Pierre Laval
· Harlow Curtis
· Hugh Johnson

More than likely you do not recognize the names of any of these men. You certainly could not tell what they did or how they rose to fame. Yet each of these men was at some point in his life Time Magazine's "Man of the Year." They were judged as the person having had the greatest impact on the rest of humanity during a given year.

It is our nature to think that we are really something special. This is why the business of celebrity is so successful. We have a desire to be great at something, and we are even willing to be somewhat satisfied with news of the lives of celebrities - reveling in their fame by proxy.

Think about the yearly audience of the Super Bowl; the Final Four; the NBA playoffs; the Masters; the Stanley Cup; Wimbledon; the Bowl games; the World Series. Factor in the weekly audiences of American Idol; The Celebrity Apprentice; Survivor, and many more "reality" shows. The American public has high hopes and watches intently to see who the winners will be.

Then you have the Academy Awards - for days before and after, water cooler talk centers on who will win/won which Oscar. Why? It's not as if the contenders are really the characters they portray - they're just good pretenders. Maybe that's why we find them so fascinating - we want to be good pretenders, too.

The writers of Psalms had no illusions about who we really are. There is line upon line in the book of Psalms regarding the nature of man.

Here in Psalm 102, the days of our lives are compared to withering grass, but not so the Lord's. He is great and His name lives for all generations - He is the same . . . His years will have no end.

Why do we insist on plying mankind with glory and adulation when we have the God of the universe before us? Our attention and adoration should not be focused on man's folly, but rather upon the greatness of God. J. I. Packer addresses this very point:

The Christian's instincts of trust and worship are stimulated very powerfully by knowledge of the greatness of God. But this is knowledge which Christians today largely lack; that is one reason why our faith is so feeble and our worship so flabby. We are modern men, and modern men - though they cherish great thoughts of man - have, as a rule, small thought of God.

Let's get real about ourselves and mankind as a whole: admit that underneath the façade the world sees, we all are sinners by nature, deserving none of mankind's praise.

Should we really care about the comings and goings [and every detail in between] of celebrities; stars; idols? No!

Let's focus our aim where it should be, and say with the Psalmist, "But You, O Lord . . . "

Prayer Point:

Ask the Lord to help you meditate on His greatness. As you read the Scriptures, take time to praise God for Himself - the One whose years will have no end.

Extra Refreshment:

Read Psalms 103 and make the first and last verses come alive to you today.

Source: A Wisdom Retreat

Eternal Vastness of God

by Pete Briscoe

"What we do in life echoes in eternity." - Maximus, Gladiator

I often think of the galaxies in outer space as being symbolic of God's eternal vastness. No doubt, it’s hugeness beyond our comprehension. Light from some of the closest stars takes 2,000 years to reach earth. Beam me up! But that's just the physical world.

Eternity is infinitely bigger than that! It's changeless, timeless, and it's the realm of spirituality and God's mighty attributes. It's the realm of ultimate reality of completeness and wholeness, where things are finished and settled. It's the realm of right now.

When God called Moses at the burning bush, He told Moses to tell the people that "I AM" sent him. (That's terrible English grammar, but perfect theological grammar, so I suppose theology wins out over English!)

I AM is the way God wanted Moses and the people to think about Him. I AM is eternity past, right now, and always in the future - all at the same time. Yep, it's pretty baffling. That's the point! God is so infinite and vast that to describe Him is an exercise in futility.

Is God that infinitely large in your prayers and worship?

Lord Jesus, how awesome is Your eternal vastness. Praise Your mighty name. Keep eternity fixed in my heart. Keep my mind set on things above. I need to be reminded all the time of Your greatness. Do whatever it takes, Holy Spirit, to keep You first in my heart, as the Lord beyond measure in all ways.

Source: Experiencing LIFE Today


Malankara World Journal is published by
Copyright © 2011-2019 Malankara World. All Rights Reserved.